Ginger can kill ovarian cancer cells while the compound that makes peppers hot can shrink pancreatic tumors, researchers told a conference on Tuesday. Their studies add to a growing body of evidence that at least some popular spices might slow or prevent the growth of cancer. The study on ginger was done using cells in a lab dish, which is a long way from finding that it works in actual cancer patients, but it is the first step to testing the idea. Dr. Rebecca Liu, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues tested ginger powder dissolved in solution by putting it on ovarian cancer cell cultures. It killed the ovarian cancer cells in two different ways — through a self-destruction process called apoptosis and through autophagy in which cells digest themselves, the researchers told a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
A second study found that capsaicin, which makes chili peppers hot, fed to mice caused apoptosis death in pancreatic cancer cells, said Sanjay Srivastava of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
More here. (Thanks to Kirsten)